TSX falls by most since June as U.S. inflation data spooks investors

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Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index rises to a record high

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index on Tuesday posted its biggest decline in nearly three months, after data showing an unexpected rise in U.S. consumer prices bolstered bets for another aggressive interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index ended down 341.83 points, or 1.7%, at 19,645.40, its biggest decline since June 16. It follows four straight days of gains.

Wall Street tumbled in a broad sell-off after hotter-than-expected inflation data dashed hopes that the Fed could relent and scale back its policy tightening in the near future.

"We'll most likely see central banks in the U.S. and Canada under pressure to continue raising interest rates," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management.

The Bank of Canada has vowed to reduce inflation which was at an annual rate of 7.6% in July.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced C$4.5 billion ($3.43 billion) in measures on Tuesday intended to provide relief from high inflation to low-income families.

The rate-sensitive financials sector fell 1.9% and information technology was down 3.3%.

The materials group, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 2.1% as gold and copper prices fell.

Oil prices also dipped, with U.S. crude oil futures settling 0.5% lower at $87.31 a barrel, which weighed on energy. The sector ended down 0.7%.

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Additional reporting by Aniruddha Ghosh and Johann Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and David Gregorio)